Friday, October 05, 2007

"It's not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

--E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

I had a fabulous conversation today with someone who’s both a true friend and a good writer. We talked about stories and characters and where they come from. I told her about how I got started on my novel, and the spark that inspired me to begin. This small kernel of an idea grew and became more complex and rich and interesting as I was writing.

Basically you don’t have to know what’s going to happen in a story before getting started. You don’t even have to know much about your characters. You can find them and learn all sorts of interesting things about them as you write. It’s such a freeing realization, that you don’t need to know everything about your story before you start, or even more than just the tiniest tidbit. Most of it you can find along the way.

It was so great to talk to her about all of that because I had forgotten how babyish those initial steps were for me four plus years ago when I began writing fiction. It helped so much to remember how slowly I started. I think one of the reasons I’ve been so paralyzed lately is that I’ve been thinking about the whole of book two, instead of taking it step by baby step like I did with book one.

I don’t have to know much about what’s going to happen in this second book. I'll find it as I go.

She can too, and I can't wait to read what she discovers!

4 comments:

wyo said...

I like this idea. Without actually saying it, you've almost got me convinced to try NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org), which I started considering just this morning, for no apparent reason other than I stumbled across a link to it. Excuse me, I think I need to go smack myself upside the head ...

Renée said...

I like this idea. Without actually saying it, you've almost got me convinced to try NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org), which I started considering just this morning, for no apparent reason other than I stumbled across a link to it. Excuse me, I think I need to go smack myself upside the head ...
# posted by wyo : 10/06/2007 6:26 PM

That is SO cool, wyo! Although, I don't know if I'd consider writing 50,000 words in one month starting slow! ;o)

I hope you decide to do it. I think you'd have a blast! And if you do, you also have to blog about it. Because, I'm guessing that the story of your doing NaNoWriMo will be extremely fun to read in and of itself!

No pressure, though. I've known about it for years and I've never considered it for more than 2 seconds, so I could certainly understand if you decide against it. A lot of people find it great motivation, though, just saying!

wyo said...

LOL ... I meant that I thought it was silly to even think of NaNoWriMo without having the slightest idea of a story. (Okay, I have a VERY slight idea.)

But I liked what you said about discovering where the story went ... maybe I don't need to figure out as much as I think to take the challenge. Maybe it would just be good to try it.

And maybe I should get back to that head-smacking! ;)

Renée said...

It's my understanding that many fictions writers don't know much about their story when they start writing it. So definitely don't let that stop you! :o)